Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 959-970.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1639-5

• Special Issue: Water Resources in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The effects of urban water cycle on energy consumption in Beijing, China

Guohua HE1,2, Yong ZHAO1,2*(), Jianhua WANG1,2, Yongnan ZHU1,2, Shan JIANG1,2, Haihong LI1,2, Qingming WANG1,2   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Stimulation and Regulation of Water Cycles in River Basins, Beijing 100038, China
    2. China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
  • Received:2018-05-12 Accepted:2018-11-23 Online:2019-06-25 Published:2019-07-25
  • About author:

    Author: He Guohua (1990-), PhD, specialized in water-energy nexus. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2016YFC0401407;National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, No.51625904;International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China, No.2016YFE0102400


Energy is consumed at every stage of the cycle of water production, distribution, end use, and recycled water treatment. Understanding the nexus of energy and water may help to minimize energy and water consumption and reduce environmental emissions. However, the interlinkages between water and energy have not received adequate attention. To address this gap, this paper disaggregates and quantifies the energy consumption of the entire water cycle process in Beijing. The results of this study show that total energy consumption by water production, treatment and distribution, end use, and recycled water reuse amounts to 55.6 billion kWh of electricity in 2015, or about 33% of the total urban energy usage. While water supply amount increased by only 10% from 2005 to 2015, the related energy consumption increased by 215% due to water supply structural change. The Beijing municipal government plans to implement many water saving measures in the area from 2016 to 2020, however, these policies will increase energy consumption by 74 million kWh in Beijing. This study responds to the urgent need for research on the synergies between energy and water. In order to achieve the goal of low-energy water utilization in the future, water and energy should be integrated in planning and management.

Key words: water-energy nexus, integrated planning, water supply, energy consumption, Beijing